Usage of telehealth services is on the rise at Fort Meade’s Veterans Administration Campus, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. Veterans are now able to contact their doctor, nurse, specialist, or other provider with the Black Hills Health Care System at Fort Meade through a variety of digital access points.
The Veterans Administration first began using telehealth services 10-15 years ago, and as technology continues to improve, usage continues to increase. “Telehealth services” refers to when technology, such as a smart phone, tablet, or computer, is used to connect patients to their health care providers in situations where the two parties are in different locations.
Currently, there are approximately 300-350 weekly uses of telehealth services at the Black Hills Health Care System at Fort Meade, with about 1.22 percent of the campus’ patient population utilizing these services, which is comprised of 19,000 veterans from North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, and western South Dakota. Services continue to expand, with mental health sessions making up a large part of remote appointments.
Remote services allow veterans working full-time or unable to travel to continue to access medical care without disrupting their everyday activities unnecessarily. Costs per appointment can also be reduced for both patient and hospital. Sign up for these types of services is simple and can be arranged through current providers if patients’ situation would allow for telehealth appointments or services.
Read more about veterans affairs on the Black Hills Knowledge Network.